Stoke City coach O'Neill leaves N Ireland managerial role 
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Stoke City coach O'Neill leaves N Ireland managerial role 

Northern Ireland head coach Michale O'Neill has left his managerial role on a permanent basis, ending his eight-year stay. 

"After careful consideration and following discussions with the Irish FA I feel it is only fair that now is the right time for me to step aside,"  Michael O'Neill said in a statement. 

"I would have loved the opportunity to manage Northern Ireland in the UEFA 2020 play-off game versus Bosnia and Herzegovina and the chance to qualify for another major tournament, but the current situation means that this is no longer possible."

"It was important to leave the association and team in the strongest possible shape in order to not only have the best chance of qualifying for Euro 2021 but allow the new manager time to build upon the success that we have had during my eight-year tenure."

O’Neill, who was appointed Northern Ireland boss in December 2011, was due to take charge of the senior men’s team for the play-off Path B semi-final match away to Bosnia and Herzegovina.  

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